February 25, 2015
Cathleen McCluskey, Organic Seed Alliance, (360) 472-0247,
Nation’s First Organic Carrot Breeding Collaborative to Report on Success 
Port Townsend, WA – Join eOrganic for a webinar on the Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project on March 24th, 2015. The webinar takes place at 2:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00 p.m. Central/12:00 p.m. Mountain/ 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.
CIOA is the first multi-state, participatory plant-breeding project to focus solely on organic carrots. Organic growers need carrot varieties that are adapted to organic conditions and have market qualities that organic consumers demand, such as superior nutrition and flavor. While some breeding work has identified these traits in orange, red, purple, and yellow carrots – all high-value crops and in demand by consumers – these varieties have not been adapted to the needs of organic agriculture. 
CIOA research is filling this important research gap and will eventually release improved varieties that meet these and other needs of organic carrot growers. This research focuses on delivering varieties that germinate rapidly, have good seedling vigor, compete with weeds, resist pests, and are efficient at nutrient uptake. Researchers are also exploring the response of genotypes to soil microbial environments and comparing the performance of varieties in organic versus conventional farming systems through replicated trials in four states (California, Indiana, Washington, and Wisconsin).
In the webinar, members of the CIOA research team will present results from the first three years of the project. In particular, participants will learn about advancements in organic plant breeding for nematode resistance and beneficial relationships with soil microorganisms.
Presenters include Philipp Simon of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison; Micaela Colley, Jared Zystro, and Cathleen McCluskey of Organic Seed Alliance; Philip Roberts of the University of California – Riverside; and Lori Hoagland of Purdue University.
To learn more and register, visit: 
Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, award number 2011-51300-3093 of the OREI.
Organic Seed Alliance advances the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed. Learn more at
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